Tag Archives: flora

Secret treasures of Pemba Island

Pemba Island

Off the beaten tracks, as first. Pemba, the green island, is the less touristic corner of the Archipelago of Zanzibar – mostly covered by rainforest and surrounded by lagoons, where the sea looks as an incredible emerald ocean.

The quiet population are mainly farmers and fishermen, proud of their land and their tradition; welcoming towards small scale tourism, much less towards the mass one. Long roads crossing endless forests, totally unspoilt beaches, just a few cars, small towns… this is what you are going to see in Pemba.

Environmental and cultural treasures are many, and still well hidden many times. Let’s try to discover them.

Looking for Pemba Flying Foxes…

These giant bats are the most famous endemic species. Several colonies are spread around the island, even nearby places where humans live. One is at the archaeological site Kidike, so a visit is worthing for more than a reason. Another very large one is in the town of Wete, nearby the port, where at sunset you can see hundreds flying foxes floating in the air.

Beaches & Forests

A nature walk in Ngezi Forest will surprise you in many ways. This is a majestic indigenous rainforest, full of birds and wildlife: over thousand-years trees all around, in a very special atmosphere that you can’t find in many other places in the world. After crossing the forest, take some time to walk along Vumawimbi beach, one of the favourite places where local people spend the week-end.

Diving and snorkeling at the coral reef

Many smaller islands surround Pemba, and many of them are in coral reef areas. One most famous is Misali, but there are many more unspoilt corners that are excellent locations to see the rich marine fauna of the Indian Ocean: it’s possible to see as many as 400 types of fish, and a huge array of pelagics. Colorful tropical fishes, extraordinary corals and other creatures are very near… even if you’re just a snorkeler for hobby.

The factory of essential oils

You will need a good guide in order of booking a visit to this special secret place! Here spices of the island are used to produce extraordinary oils… probably the best souvenir that you can bring back home, to remember the magic Pemba from its typical fragrance.

Rubondo Island. Unspoiled forest and a luxury tree house…

Rubondo Island National Park is one of the most beautiful “secret places” of Tanzania; located along the South-West corner of Lake Victoria, it is the ultimate unspoiled destination – almost untouched by humans.

This island became a protected area during the 60s, and later it has been appointed as National Park in 1977 with the idea to build a sanctuary for animals. Next to the native fauna, in fact, different species have been introduced during the years: chimpanzees, elephant, giraffe and black & white colobus.

All these animals started to share the lush forest that covers this area with native species such as vervet monkeys, hippos and more than 300 endemic birds.

There are not many places like Rubondo in the World. We recommend a trip not only to bird watchers but also to all the people who are looking for a place where nature is still dominant and the passage of humans is invisible.

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Accommodation here needs to be arranged in a special way as well, respectful of the nature of the place and in harmony with the environment. We suggest to stay at Rubondo Island Camp, an amazing eco-friendly camp managed by Asilia (www.asiliaafrica.com).

Small, intimate, completely set within the wild nature in the forest of Rubondo: all the tents have fine furniture, and the luxury is well combined with the idea of an eco-sensitive camp. The management offers a wide range of activities: tailored forest walk, trekking, ‘catch and release’ fishing, canoe trip and game view.

Aside, the camp also offers an original accommodation for people who want to try a unique experience: a tree-top room. The romantic tree house is completely delved in the forest. The room is finely decorated, and includes double bed, en-suite toilet, access to hot water and mobile solar lamp (electricity does not get so far away!). From the room – which is an open structure with mosquito net all around – you can enjoy a breathtaking 180° view on the forest and the Victoria Lake.

This is the ultimate magic place, which offers you a real lifetime experience. You will feel as closed as possible to the nature, but at the same time surrounded by the top quality service of all Asilia Camps… don’t miss it!